Our ocean absorbs one quarter of the CO2 emitted due to human activities, changing the very chemistry of seawater. This phenomenon, known as ocean acidification, can have harmful impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems, especially for organisms that form a skeleton or shell made of calcium carbonate, such as corals and mollusks. Acting in tandem with ocean warming and oxygen loss, two other major global changes, the full effects of ocean acidification are likely to be multiplied and are difficult to predict.
Since the Monaco Declaration on Ocean Acidification, signed by 150 scientists from 26 countries in 2009, the Prince Albert II of Monaco and his Foundation have been working with partners in the Principality and international collaborators to advance research, to bring together actors and stakeholders working on the topic, and to raise awareness about this issue, which is still insufficiently considered.
The Monaco Association on Ocean Acidification (AMAO) was created in 2013 on the initiative of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to communicate, promote and facilitate international activities on ocean acidification in the fields of research, communication and capacity building.
AMAO brings together the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Government of Monaco, the IAEA Environment Laboratories, the Scientific Centre of Monaco and the Oceanographic Institute, as well as representatives of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the French National Centre for Scientific Research.
AMAO initiatives and products
The Oceans 2015 Initiative and the Ocean Solutions Initiative
The Oceans 2015 Initiative was launched to provide UNFCCC COP21 negotiators with key information on the state of our future ocean (acidification, warming and sea level rise...).
The Ocean Solutions Initiative assessed the potential of thirteen ocean solutions to combat climate change, ocean acidification and sea level rise, and their consequences for vital ecosystems (coral reefs, mangroves and salt marshes, and seagrass beds) and ecosystem services (fisheries, aquaculture...). More information and products.
AMAO members’ activities on ocean acidification:
Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation supports communication and scientific projects on ocean acidification, and is also a long-standing partner of the largest conferences on the subject: the International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, organized every four years, including the next Symposium planned for September 2022. The Foundation is coordinating AMAO.
IAEA Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC)
The IAEA Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) promotes international collaboration on ocean acidification. The OA-ICC organizes training courses in Member States and provides access to data and resources to advance ocean acidification research. The Centre promotes the development of data portals, standardized methodology and best practices. The OA-ICC works to raise awareness of the issue among various stakeholders and inform about the role that nuclear and isotopic techniques can play in assessing its impacts. To achieve these objectives, the OA-ICC works with many international partners and supports global and regional ocean acidification networks, including the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network. More information.
The Scientific Center of Monaco (CSM)
The Department of Marine Biology of the Scientific Center of Monaco studies coral environments, from DNA to ecosystem level, through to human societies. Researchers with the Scientific Center of Monaco were among the first to study the impacts of ocean acidification on corals.
Starting in 2010, the CSM and the IAEA co-organize, with the support of the Prince Albert II Foundation, workshops on the socio-economic impact of acidification. The first workshop confirmed the potential socio-economic threats caused by ocean acidification but also highlighted the difficulties in quantifying them. In 2012, the second workshop focused on one of the pillars of the marine economy: fisheries and aquaculture, using a regional approach. In 2015, the third workshop focused on the impacts of acidification on communities, and the fourth workshop in 2017 focused on coral reefs and the socio-economic activities related to these key ecosystems. Products from the workshops include recommendations for policy makers as well as scientific publications.
Institute of Oceanography, Albert I Foundation, Prince of Monaco
The Oceanographic Institute, through the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and the Maison des océans in Paris, facilitates interactions and debate between the scientific community, main players in the maritime economy, policy and decision-makers, and the general public. The Oceanographic Institute regularly produces books, exhibitions and outreach activities, including on the links between the Ocean and climate change and ocean acidification, and hosts high-level meetings on ocean acidification.
The Ocean Acidification International Reference User Group (OA-iRUG), led by IUCN and supported by the Prince Albert II Foundation since 2013, aims to bring together scientists and actors from civil society, policy and the private sector to convey scientific research on ocean acidification in a language understandable by all. Products of the RUG.
The Government of Monaco
The message on ocean acidification and AMAO's actions are conveyed to high-level international fora on climate change by the Sovereign Prince and His Government.